For those that follow the political realm, you may be aware that the Senate is considering a huge energy bill over the next 24 hours. Some of the details of this bill were the subject of an opinion article in the LA Times today. There are pros and cons of the bill affecting all sorts of energy concerns such as renewable fuels, coal-to-liquid technology, and automobile efficiency standards. Up for consideration is the Bingaman-Reid renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requiring the nation to get 15% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. An RPS requires electric utilities to include a specific percentage of clean, renewable energy in their generation portfolios, or to purchase renewable energy credits from others. If you want to help see that the Bingaman-Reid RPS is supported, feel free to use the Power of Wind website to let your Senator know.
- Wired to Sell – Smart-home technology is becoming increasingly available with a variety of conservation and convenience features.
- Why Big Houses? The average, new American home is 2,400 sf; experts weigh in on America’s fascination with bigger is better.
- Wind Energy White Paper "In Defense of Wind," by Dallas attorney Trey Cox outlines concerns about wind energy industry’s rapid and unregulated growth.
- Peddling Smart Growth – call your project "smart" – even when it isn’t – and get millions in public funds.
Right now, the world’s largest wind energy conference and exhibition, called WINDPOWER 2007, is going on. For those of you that can’t attend, here’s a link to the AWEA YouTube Channel and the AWEA Flickr Pool. Good stuff. Pictured above is the Skystream 3.7. I’m a big believer in wind technology, especially small wind technology because it has the potential to power our lives on a renewable basis. Think about the powerful combo of a plug-in hybrid car + home with solar panels + yard with small wind + thermal energy storage. Here’s what happens. During the night, you charge your car at home. Then you drive to work. At work, you charge your car again with solar/wind power. The hybrid makes it happen anywhere in the middle. We need to start mashing up renewable technology in a smart way. Microgeneration. Decentralization. WINDPOWER 2007 is a big part of making this happen.
Recently, Paris-based architect Jacques Ferrier unleashed his "Hypergreen" mixed-use skyscraper concept, which was submitted for a project competition in Paris. Hypergreen incorporates a curving lattice facade made of ultra-high-performance concrete that acts as the building’s primary structural system. It has the look of steel, almost resembling some of Foster’s designs such as Hearst Tower or 30 St Mary Axe. Measuring 246 meters in height, Hypergreen has the following green features: geothermal heat pumps, photovoltaic panels, integrated wind turbines, earth cooling tubes, vegetated sky lobbies, a roof garden, rainwater recovery system, and flexible and adaptable floor plates. The exoskeleton reduces the number of columns that make for odd floor plates.
++Jacques Ferrier Architecture [Official Website]
++Green Skyscraper Will Have ‘Steel-like’ Concrete Skin [BD+C – PODCAST]
Let’s face it, less is more. What you see is the micro compact home, aka m-ch, which is a 76 sf home designed by Richard Horden, a professor at Technical University of Munich (TUM). m-ch was designed to meet the growing demand for short-stay living. I think Horden’s on to something. Right now, there’s a horde of 7 m-chs that TUM students and staff occasionally stay in. But there’s also a 16-unit village of m-chs being developed for a site near Vienna, Austria.
What’s great about the m-ch is its high-tech design. It’s all geeked out with the latest in electronics and technology. Future models plan to use solar panels and horizontal-axis wind turbines to make the home self-sustaining. For $96,000 (delivery + installation anywhere in Europe), you get a sliding table for 5, two 7.5 foot beds, shelves and drawers, an electrical systems control panel, bathroom and shower, and a kitchen with a microwave, fridge/freezer, sink, waste unit, and work surface. For a quick jaunt and a little fun, what more could you ask for? Via Wired. Cool images below the fold.
- Small Wind Market Takes Off – Increasing Numbers of Homeowners, Small Businesses, and Farms are Installing Wind Turbines to Generate Electricity.
- BOMA Released its List of Top 10 Ways for Commercial Buildings to Save Energy.
- IBM is Hooking Up with The Nature Conservancy to Launch Software that will Help Businesses and Government Make Smart Environmental Decisions.
- The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd., Announced the Launch of the Leading Green Initiative, a program to support Sustainable Travel International.